New Lower Thames Crossing

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zapalniczka
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New Lower Thames Crossing

Post by zapalniczka » Tue May 21, 2013 12:52

new crossings proposed to cross the Thames near the QE2 bridge have been announced here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/organisat ... s-crossing

looks interesting but the old bridge isn't that old. Does that mean they screwed up with this bridge or that it was always a stop gap?

Thoughts?

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zapalniczka
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Re: New Lower Thames Crossing

Post by zapalniczka » Tue May 21, 2013 12:55

thought I'd add this from the above link so people don't need to trawl through the documentation too much ;)
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Bryn666
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Re: New Lower Thames Crossing

Post by Bryn666 » Tue May 21, 2013 12:59

I have already filled out a consultation response.

Personally I feel Option C-variant, whilst being expensive, provides the best long term solution to allow road based links between the North of England (plus beyond) and the Continent.

However, this route would, in my view, have to be a motorway to actually deliver the expected benefits (blue liners will avoid it), and no doubt it will be tolled - so the charges must be reasonable. A tunnel avoids the risk of weather related closures on a 70 metre high structure.

Further expansion at Dartford is a non-starter, plus Option C-variant would nicely bypass a large urban area on both sides of the Thames, thus improving the Thames Gateway no end.

The problem is that the greenies will go ballistic and fight to the bitter end over this - they don't even like HS2 so what chance has a new motorway got?
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zapalniczka
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Re: New Lower Thames Crossing

Post by zapalniczka » Tue May 21, 2013 13:03

Option C does look pretty epic. Living in Reading I'd never have a reason to use it but as you say it surely offers the greatest move forward in terms of future proofing.

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Lockwood
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Re: New Lower Thames Crossing

Post by Lockwood » Tue May 21, 2013 13:10

Bryn666 wrote:However, this route would, in my view, have to be a motorway
I thought you couldn't build them any more.
HQDC with a TRO prohibiting pedestrains, cycles, mopeds under 50cc, argricultural vehicles, animals and invalid carriages seem to be the current favourite, or Special Roads allowing for Class I and II traffic only, but without the blue ink?

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Re: New Lower Thames Crossing

Post by M56phil » Tue May 21, 2013 13:29

I wonder, if it was the longest route (and to me the most logical) what number it would have???
M2TOLL anyone? :roll:

or perhaps M24 or M22???? :shock:

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Re: New Lower Thames Crossing

Post by samxool » Tue May 21, 2013 13:33

option c is clearly the best.
but the unwashed tree huggers will be against it.
Option B seems an ok compromise.

I've long supported a tunnel under the thames between gravesend and Tilbury as i think it is crazy there is no local cross-thames public transport east of woolwich! (i know HS1 goes under the thames around here, but no so useful for local trips)

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Re: New Lower Thames Crossing

Post by DavidBrown » Tue May 21, 2013 13:35

Bryn666 wrote:The problem is that the greenies will go ballistic and fight to the bitter end over this - they don't even like HS2 so what chance has a new motorway got?
Depending on what stage HS2 is at when/if this proposal gets close to approval, I suspect that the new crossing could actually see an easier ride than some might suspect if every greenie is tied to a tree in the Chilterns somewhere.

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Re: New Lower Thames Crossing

Post by Ritchie333 » Tue May 21, 2013 13:56

Option C would be very, very useful for me, and I would support that.

The tolls have to be identical to Dartford, otherwise it will not get used, as it's not that much of a substantial detour.
Bryn666 wrote:The problem is that the greenies will go ballistic and fight to the bitter end over this.
The greenies should go and have a closer look at just how much of our land is actually unspoilt and untouched, and available to the public in terms of footpaths. Furthermore, they should have a close look at what land is planning to be replaced, and note a lot of it is industrial or former industrial, with a major international station near it. Only the woods around Shorne would seem to have a case. I'm more concerned that the Option C Variant of upgrading the A229 might involve demolishing the Lower Bell pub halfway up, one of my favourite local live music venues.
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Re: New Lower Thames Crossing

Post by Mark Hewitt » Tue May 21, 2013 14:00

Would not removing the tolls from the Dartford crossing be a cheaper alternative?
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Lockwood
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Re: New Lower Thames Crossing

Post by Lockwood » Tue May 21, 2013 14:30

Ritchie333 wrote:Option C would be very, very useful for me, and I would support that.

The tolls have to be identical to Dartford, otherwise it will not get used, as it's not that much of a substantial detour.
If it's going to be tolled, I'd like to see the new crossing use Dart-Tag.

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Bryn666
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Re: New Lower Thames Crossing

Post by Bryn666 » Tue May 21, 2013 15:14

Mark Hewitt wrote:Would not removing the tolls from the Dartford crossing be a cheaper alternative?
Not really, as there is still insufficient road capacity crossing the Thames, 8 lanes are not enough to handle demand in future.
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Haydn1971
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Re: New Lower Thames Crossing

Post by Haydn1971 » Tue May 21, 2013 15:16

Mark Hewitt wrote:Would not removing the tolls from the Dartford crossing be a cheaper alternative?
Absolutely ! Combined with some managed motorway either side - bargin
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Bryn666
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Re: New Lower Thames Crossing

Post by Bryn666 » Tue May 21, 2013 15:23

The existing A282 has intermittent hard shoulders, and is heavily built up on both sides having been widened from D2 in 1990. Variable speed limits are all you can do there.

Tinkering with Dartford is completely short sighted, and adding additional lanes is a non starter.
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Haydn1971
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Re: New Lower Thames Crossing

Post by Haydn1971 » Tue May 21, 2013 15:47

Yeah short sighted, but would postpone the need to spend circa £1.5-2Bn for perhaps another 10 years beyond this proposed spend - get the thing into pre-planning sure, but for goodness sake, lets remove the tolls that cause much of the problem now.
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Re: New Lower Thames Crossing

Post by Haydn1971 » Tue May 21, 2013 15:56

The other aspect is of course the fabled Boris Island - many of us don't care for it, me included, but given the impact in the whole estuary region, that's going to have a huge impact on option choice if pre-planning for that gets funding.
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Re: New Lower Thames Crossing

Post by darkcape » Tue May 21, 2013 17:14

Last I heard Boris island isn't gaining any more momentum than any of the other proposals to relieve air capacity in the South East. If it was on a similar timescale then it would probably affect the proposals, but a project such as that is likely to have a similar timescale to HS2 etc.

Option B & C will render the new flyovers put in on the A2/M25 junctions useless. If Option B had few junctions to cater for long distance traffic, so at M25, A13 and M2, then local traffic can use the old crossing and A2.

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Re: New Lower Thames Crossing

Post by Phil » Tue May 21, 2013 17:37

Haydn1971 wrote:Yeah short sighted, but would postpone the need to spend circa £1.5-2Bn for perhaps another 10 years beyond this proposed spend - get the thing into pre-planning sure, but for goodness sake, lets remove the tolls that cause much of the problem now.
Traditional tolls ARE going (well sort of) - that is the Government is already committed to removing the toll booths and moving to a Dublin / London CC style setup with monies collected courtesy of tracing owners through the DVLA database. What they plan to do with the large quantities of non UK registered vehicles is less certain, statements on the mater usually having some sort of vague and completely unrealistic waffle about perusing drivers in their own countries (a bit of a problem in countries which don't have a central database or who have refused to open up their licensing database to all and sundry).

Thus it is a certainty any new crossing will also be tolled in the same way especially as it would open up all sorts of PFI style funding options so beloved by Governments over the past twenty years.

As to the options proposed, option C strikes me as the most sensible, following the most direct line and saving the need for traffic to continue to come near the Gravesend & Thurrock areas both of which are already congested or are supposed to be the focus of extensive development when the economy picks up.
Last edited by Phil on Tue May 21, 2013 17:42, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: New Lower Thames Crossing

Post by nowster » Tue May 21, 2013 17:38

Option B, but extend it to meet both the M25 to the north and the M20 to the south, and make it motorway with the number M12.

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Re: New Lower Thames Crossing

Post by Truvelo » Tue May 21, 2013 17:42

I imagine option C won't follow the A229 exactly. As the M2 climbs between J2-3 and the A229 does the same between the M20 and M2 I suspect the proposed route wouldn't use any of the A229 so sparing the Lower Bell from demolition. My best guess is it would follow the existing HS1 line and tunnel under the M2 J3 area. It's not only the gradient that affects the A229 but also the many tight curves which is why upgrading it is a complete non starter.

I can see some merit in option B. It uses the A1089 but it will need widening to at least D3 and the bridges would have to be replaced. The northern part of option C will also be required, as Nowster mentioned, as a multiplex with the A13 wouldn't work. And unless it crosses below the Thames I can't see a clear route that wouldn't involve mass demolition on either side of the river.

Option A is a complete waste of time. Enough said :@

Whichever of the decent options is chosen it will mean the A2 to M25 north freeflow slips will be rendered redundant. The lack of joined up thinking is unbelievable. The same goes for the A8000/M9 spur upgrade a few years ago which means the link to the new Forth Bridge from the A1 will be a very roundabout route full of TOTSO's :@

Of course, going back to the Thames Crossing, there is always option D - do nothing, which is probably what will happen :@
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